Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Review ~ When Sparrows Fall by Meg Mosely

When Sparrows Fall by Meg Mosely

Publisher by Multnomah Books

Release date: May 3, 2011


Freedom. Safety. Love. Miranda vows to reclaim them--for herself, and for her children.

A widow and mother of six, Miranda Hanford leads a quiet, private life. When the pastor of her close-knit church announces his plans to move the entire congregation to another state, Miranda jumps at the opportunity to dissolve ties with Mason Chandler and his controlling method of ruling his flock. But then Mason threatens to unearth secrets from her past, and Miranda feels trapped, terrified she’ll be unable to protect her children.

College professor Jack Hanford is more than surprised when he gets a call from his estranged sister-in-law’s oldest son, Timothy, informing him that Miranda has taken a serious fall and he has been named legal guardian of her children while she recovers. Quickly charmed by Miranda’s children, Jack brings some much-needed life into the sheltered household. But his constant challenging of the family’s conservative lifestyle makes the recovering mother uneasy and defensive—despite Jack’s unnerving appeal.

As Jack tries to make sense of the mysterious Miranda and the secrets she holds so tightly, Mason’s pressure on her increases. With her emotions stirring and freedom calling, can Miranda find a way to unshackle her family without losing everything?

My Review:

My chains are gone, I've been set free! My God,  my Savior has ransomed me!
That's the first thought that entered my mind when I finished this book.

The author weaves a convincing plot while showing us the life of Miranda, a woman bound by man-made chains. These “chains" are placed on her by her husband first, and then continued by her pastor. I felt deep sorrow and pain for her while at the same time appreciating the choices she made in such difficult circumstances. She loves her children deeply and seeks to protect them at all costs. I was challenged in my own life by her unwavering faith in God, and the trust she had that He alone would set her free.

Jack's character is very down to earth and realistic. He has an honest desire to help Miranda and her children, and to show them what life could be like without those “chains”. I love the fact that he embraces the children unconditionally, even though he has a rough start in their life. He's full of humor and discovers he has an amazing capacity to love. His faith is a little less grounded but that only makes for more reality to me.

Ms. Moseley uses such descriptive language I had no trouble envisioning the characters or places in the book. I could see Jack ruffling his hair in his frustration, Miranda huddled in her cuddle-quilt, the children blowing bubbles and their laughter ringing out. I could even smell the campfire! There are many wonderful characters in this story and you will find yourself routing for more than just Miranda.

If you are looking for a contemporary story that will draw you in and keep you fastened to the pages for the duration, then I highly recommend When Sparrows Fall.

I received this advanced reader copy from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest opinion.

Click here to read Chapter One.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book Addict Anonymous?

Yep. It might be time to join a Book Addict Anonymous group. I have 12 books checked out from the library, another 10 officially that are for reviews, and over 10 that I won in drawings that I haven't read. That's over 32 books in my TBR pile! I don't think there's enough hours in the day to read all those. It goes against my book loving brain to turn the library books in without having read them, but I think that may be my only course of action.

I love books. The way they feel. The way they smell. Even the musty ones from used book stores because they have a history. I am a book addict. There. I said it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Longing for the Temple Worship

Psalm 84

1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.

3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.

7 They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.
8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!
10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Altered Art is...

~ Collaging, embellishing, enameling, stamping or doing anything else to a book  or other household item to reflect a creative idea, theme or narrative.

Collecting items to create Altered Art has become almost an obsession. I see potential in EVERYTHING! I save tea boxes, yogurt cartons, jelly jars, plastic trays, spaghetti boxes, and cereal boxes. Have I made anything out of these wannabe trash to treasure goodies? Well, no but I'm going to. I will. I promise. I just need more time in my day. I do like to read, you know. And I have two boys that I homeschool, laundry to be done, dishes to be washed, and I like to read. I said that already, didn't I?

I have made one really super cool box, though. If you're on my Facebook then you've already seen it, but you can hang around and ooohhh and aaahhh over the photos again. Be kind. It's my first one.

Pretty, huh? It was so much fun! And I learned alot doing this one. Like what type of glue NOT to use.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Simple Pleasures come from Joy

 Most often I get up and hit the floor "running", making breakfast for DH, packing his lunch, laundry by 5:30am, and I MUST get to the computer to check email, blogs, etc. This morning as I was folding some of that laundry I started thinking about the pleasant smell, or lack thereof today, of fabric softner and I started making a mental list of things that bring me simple pleasures.

breathing deep and sighing with pleasure...

~ fabric softner
~ Spring breezes
~ billowing curtains
~ fresh coffee
~ baby kisses
~ warm sheets
~ grosgrain ribbon
~ hot water
~ birds chirping
~ boy hugs
~ good books
~ fresh eggs
~ roosters crowing
~ holding hands
~ flowers blooming
~ red hair
~ sweet friends
~ patterned paper
~ blue eyes

That last one is for my sweet son who has the most beautiful blue eyes, just like his daddy!

None of these things would bring me such simple pleasure if I didn't first have a personal relationship with Christ. He is my first and foremost joy, and Joy comes from the Lord! Thanking Him today for life's Simple Pleasures.

Have a blessed and joyful day in the Lord!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari, by Donita K Paul & Evangeline Denmark, illustrated by Vincent Nguyen

Click here to purchase The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari

My Review:

Boys will love this book! I love this book! Best friends, Padraig the dragon and Roger the turtle are typical little "boys" out for an adventure. While on safari at the base of Mount Sillymanborrow (camping out in the backyard) they imagine all kinds of terrible "beasts" in the dark (which all happen to be safari animals). Strange animal noises and bumps in the night keep them wide awake and wondering which animal could be out there. These adorable characters show great courage in the face of fear. This story takes those moments when everything seems so much larger than it is, a lion is really a kitten, and focuses on friendship and encouragement.

An incredible gift of humor is displayed by using exclamatory phrases that are absolutely laugh out loud funny! This is a wonderful read aloud book with colorful and delightful illustrations. Young children will enjoy the picture book aspect but may not understand the concepts about friendship being taught, but certainly established readers will enjoy for themselves all the intricate delights contained in this charming and engaging story. I can see this becoming a favorite childrens bedtime story for years to come!

There are discussions questions included at the end of the book. You can also find Padraig & Roger online at

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my review. I have received no other compensation from WaterBrook Multnomah. This review is my honest opinion.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Giveaway at Finding Hope Through Fiction

Nora St. Laurent interviewed Shane Sutherland over on her blog

Be sure to stop by and read this encouraging interview with Shane and enter the book giveaway.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Book Review ~ Deadly Ties

I won Deadly Ties in a blog giveaway and thought I'd write a review. Order your copy here:

Summary from back of the book:


A horrific crime shatters Lisa Harper’s idyllic childhood.  Her father is dead and her desperate mother, Annie, quickly marries Dutch Hauk, an abusive monster who soon reveals his hatred for Lisa. To protect her, Annie defies her ruthless husband and forfeits custody to a trusted friend.  Enraged, Dutch vows to keep Annie and Lisa apart–and he does.  Years later, though keenly aware of Dutch’s evil intent, Lisa and her mother seize a change to be a family, safe in a home where love dwells.  But they fail to fathom how far Dutch will go to keep his vow.

Determined to control his women, Dutch proves resourceful.  His associates in crime are feared at the highest levels across the globe–and for Lisa they plan a fate worse than death.  Yet she too has formidable connections, including former Special Operations Officer Mark Taylor.  Burdened by his own traumatic past, Mark has loved Lisa from afar. Now for Lisa and her mother to survive, Mark must risk his life–and even more difficult for him, he must trust God.  All as one question haunts them.  Can Mark and Lisa untangle these deadly ties before it’s too late?

My Review:

Domestic Abuse and Human Trafficking. These are crimes that are happening in our country, in some of our own neighborhoods, and Vicki is to be admired and respected for having the courage to write about them with such realism. She does an excellent job delving into the intricacies of each. Bringing me inside the mind of the abuser, which I found quite chilling, and inside the mind of the abused, which I found to be very admirable, made me feel as if I was taking part in the story. There are some disturbing scenes depicted that I could easily visualize but I didn't feel they were gruesome.

Vicki portrays strong leading characters that struggle with doubt and all life has dealt them. The spiritual element isn't overpowering, but blends perfectly with the situations happening in the book. In the end they realize that God had been preparing them, through their trials and life experiences, "for such a time as this". (I can't remember if that exact phrase is used, but that's certainly what I concluded.)

There's a familiar cast of characters from the first book in the series, Forget Me Not, so don't forget to read that one first. It's not absolutely necessary, but you'll love the book!

Overall, I think if you like to read gripping romantic suspense then this book is for you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Then & Now

Reflecting back to a time when my sons were little because yesterday my oldest son started driver's ed. and tomorrow my youngest son turns 14. 




Little did I know that those young camouflaged boys would one day grow up and wear it for real! Well....sort of for real. Aren't they just the bomb? (pun intended ;))
Seriously though, they love being in Civil Air Patrol and studying about the US Air Force and Aerospace Education. (shameless plug for the USAF & their auxilliary organization)

Have a great day in the Lord!

Isaiah 40:29-31

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.